The Hoge Kempen National Park to the north of Genk is accessible via five local ‘Gateways’. At each one there is a car park, a café and an information board, while some have visitor centres. Each offers a good starting point for your hiking, cycling, mountain biking and horse riding activities, but each one also offers its own ‘flavour’ and unique experience of the national park.
Being a nature lover and keen hiker, the Mechelse Heide Gateway is my favourite gateway. It doesn’t have a visitor centre so a quick trip to the Maasmechelen tourist office is advisable, to pick up an excellent map of the area for 2 EUR. No fewer than nine paths are laid out through this part of the National Park. All are colour-coded and excellently signposted. Here are my suggestions for three walks, depending on the time you have available.